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Health and fitness Pregnancy

Preparing or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: May 21, 2020

2020 came with much surprises. From bush fires around the globe, reports of the Antarctic ice breaking due to global warming – and now the COVID-19 pandemic putting most of the world into a lockdown. It seems to be a very scary time to be bringing a new born into this world right now – but the baby is inside of you and coming out very soon. Read through for some tips whether you’re preparing or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number one advice every health practitioner will tell you, especially when you’re pregnant, is not to stress yourself too much. Does this even seem possible at a time like this? With the news and the need to prepare for both your newborn, this time really calls for proper “stress management”.

Here are some ways to help prepare for your newborn during this trying time and some stress management tips.

Clean/disinfect and rearrange the household

Preparing or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic - disinfecting the house

We all know that keeping good hygiene and constant disinfecting is a great way to prevent the virus from entering. If you’re nearing labor – you’re probably already in your “nesting phase” where you’re trying to get everything ready for the baby already.

Here are some recommended cleaning and disinfectants:
Stress management tip :

Take this time to really focus your time and energy on getting the household “baby ready”. If you have to go online – use this time to search for baby room ideas. We all know how addictive it can be to look at cute nursery rooms and DIY decor making. Get creative, not stressed!

Stock up on your needs/ essentials

Preparing or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic - doing groceriesIf you’re able to – now would be the best time to do all the grocery and buying in preparation for when the baby arrives. You’re going to be spending most of your time taking care and getting used to life with your newborn – so things like going out for your weekly groceries or last minute buying will become challenging.

Stress management tip :

Make a list of everything that you need. You can separate your lists per place for buying. Example : Make a list for all your food groceries, another list for all baby equipment needs, another list for all mommy and daddy needs, and another for something you’ll need that’s meant to be bought elsewhere. Try to think long term – so you won’t need to end up buying something you’ll need soon at the last minute. If you have everything ahead – you’ll be less worried and stressed and will be able to focus on caring for your newborn.

Check ahead for your preferred pediatrician

Preparing or giving birth during the COVID-19 pandemic - call your preferred pediatrician

If you already have a preferred pediatrician in mind, you may want to check their availability ahead. See if they are able to do online consultations or even via phone. It’s essential to know that your preferred pediatrician is readily available, willing, and someone you’re comfortable with – since they’ll be someone you’ll be calling frequently for any baby related matters.

Stress management tip :

Get in touch ahead or with their secretary. Let them know that you’re expecting your newborn soon and opting for them to be your child’s pediatrician. You can search online as well for feedback/reviews to see how they usually treat their patients and if they may be how you expect them to be. You don’t want to end up with a doctor who you’re not comfortable with or someone you cannot be completely open to. So check around ahead.

Hopefully these tips will help you manage stress and things in your household – in preparation for your newborn. Most importantly, try to stay away from the things that usually trigger your stress so you can welcome your newborn happily. We all need to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.

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Health and fitness Pregnancy

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic

Are you a pregnant mom during this COVID-19 pandemic? With all the hospital scare of possibly contracting the virus, are prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic even possible?

Frontliners around the world are being kept busy. All health practitioners are either being recommended to self isolate or have been discouraged to meet face to face with outside patients. Due to this, trying to make a physical appointment with your doctor may become difficult. In these trying times, it may be hard but people are constantly finding ways to cope and operate even during this time of an outbreak.

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic - woman having a video call with her doctor

The world is now unlocking its full potential – and we’re seeing a different side to how everything is indeed possible if we just allow it. Doctors are now doing check ups online and even offering free consultations! So if you’re a pregnant mom – here are ways that you can still get your prenatal check ups without the risk of contracting the virus.

Check with your doctor if they’d be willing to do a prenatal over the phone.

If you’re under 37 weeks pregnant, your OB/Health practitioner will likely be offering this already and will hold your check ups over the phone. There’s likely less of a need to see you physically since you haven’t reached full term yet. You just have to be very honest with everything that you’re feeling and going through so your doctor can prescribe you with what you need -and if all is well, there shouldn’t be a need for you to make a physical visit.

Prenatal visits during the COVID-19 pandemic - pregnant woman using her phone

In the case that your usual doctor isn’t available because they’re either busy fighting against COVID-19 or have been infected themselves, you can:

See if online consultations or phone calls are possible.

Check your local community. Call the hospital or check online through social media or their website. You can ask if they have doctors who are offering consultations online. This is definitely likely happening everywhere already as patients are being discouraged as well from visiting hospitals – unless in dire need of medical assistance or if you’ve contracted the COVID-19 virus as well.

You’ve probably noticed people sharing infographics online with doctors who are offering online consultations – and even some for free! Check the list of doctors available and their time slots and book a schedule with them. A lot of these doctors will either do consultations via e-mail or through text/call.

You can always call your preferred or nearby hospital to see which doctors can do consultations online. If you haven’t gotten a prenatal check up yet and just starting to, you may want to:

Consider birthing homes / birthing clinics instead.

Yes, there is another option other than a hospital check up and hospital birth! Few are aware, but, you can try searching for a good birthing home/clinic. The risk of being exposed to the virus is less – as their only patients would be birthing moms.

If you’re considering a home birth as well – you’ll most likely be able to find a midwife or doula who will be able to grant you with your want for a home birth. However, even though birthing homes/clinics are less risky – they too have been advised to practice social distancing. So you’re likely to also get consultations with them online or via the phone. But there is at least some security in knowing that if you need to visit – the risk is less.

We should all be in this to help fight the spread of COVID-19. It’s essential that we know our rights and options to be able to have access to proper healthcare.

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Health and fitness Pregnancy

Ways to get pregnant with and without sex

Updated: May 21, 2020

So you’re sitting there, contemplating having a child but have heard that sex isn’t always a 100% guarantee to have one? Well, it’s true. More than just the act of making a baby, there are a ton of things that factor into being able to conceive – like your health and well being, sperm count, when the best day to try to conceive is medical history, etc. You’re possibly also reading this right now knowing that you have some sort of medical problem that could hinder you from getting pregnant. Fortunately, there are ways to get pregnant with and without sex.

It’s 2020 and gladly, there’s now more than 1 way to be able to conceive. Read on to see other ways to get pregnant, and see if one of these might be something you’d consider doing. Already pregnant? Click here to check the importance of prenatal checkups.

1.  The most common way

The first and most common way is, of course, through sex. If you’ve been trying and haven’t had luck, you may want to try conceiving following your menstrual cycle. Most doctors will likely tell you that the best time to try to conceive is when the woman is ovulating – best in the beginning. This usually takes place 14 days after the first day of the woman’s last period.

Sperm can survive inside a woman’s body for up to 7 days. So if you’ve been active with having sex during ovulation the sperm will be able to have a higher chance of “sticking around” and trying to latch on the woman’s released eggs for fertilization.

2. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

If regular intercourse hasn’t been successful, another way of getting pregnant is through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). This procedure takes the woman’s egg from her ovary and the man’s sperm to fertilize – and having this fertilized egg (embryo) placed inside the woman’s uterus.

Ways to get pregnant with and without sex - happy parents

According to mayoclinic.org: “IVF is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology.” Though it may be effective, there’s always a risk factor involved and chances of getting pregnant will still vary. Things such as age and infertility problems greatly affect the chances of having a healthy baby. Also, you’ll really want to do your research and speak with a doctor to consider as this is quite an invasive and costly procedure. But if all has been well prepared for – you could even have the possibility of having more than one fetus! (Multiple pregnancies).

3. Surrogacy

Another way that is still related to the IVF Procedure is surrogacy. The only additional factor is this requires having someone else carry the pregnancy for you.

Everything that’s needed to be done for IVF will apply, except that the fertilized egg would be implanted into another woman. Some women would opt for this when they know their body isn’t in any condition to carry out the pregnancy but would still want to have kids of their own DNA. Surrogate volunteers may require some form of payment, but would usually just be the costs to carry out the pregnancy.

4. Donor

Considering a sperm donor is quite common nowadays. Women can opt to go to sperm banks and choose from a number of profiles, readily available, for Artificial Insemination. Sperm banks are where men can donate or sell their sperm, for the purpose of being given/sold to those who wish to conceive. This may also be used for other medical purposes/practice.

So a woman can get pregnant without having sex through the process of Artificial Insemination. It is when semen is collected and injected into either the vaginal canal, the cervix, or the uterus. It is said that this method has the best success rate as well.

Conclusion

More ways of being able to conceive keep coming up. But before doing any of them, be sure to do thorough research to know which will work best for you. Have faith and keep trying!

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Pregnancy

Pregnancy Myths

UPDATED: MAY 21, 2020

Being pregnant is such a wonderful thing but it can also become very overwhelming – and while expectant mothers try their best to do everything to care for their pregnancy and the child within, we hear so much about dos and don’ts while being pregnant. And a lot of these don’t even make sense! Click here to check the importance of prenatal checkups.

So we’ve gathered a number of pregnancy myths to debunk.

Myth: Eating certain foods can make your baby allergic to them.

We’ve probably heard this so often – “You shouldn’t eat peanuts while pregnant” “Eggplants aren’t good for you” and they all usually end with “that can make your baby allergic to them when they come out!”.

Truth? Nope! Whatever mom eats has no direct link to determining the future baby’s reaction to food. However, there are some foods that would be best to avoid while pregnant but the only person who can tell you that is your doctor as they should know your medical history that includes your food allergies.

Myth: If your baby sits low on the womb – it’s a boy! And vice versa.

“The position of your baby in the womb can tell you if you’re having a girl or a boy” – this is absolutely false. Your baby, regardless of gender, is constantly turning around. Whether they sit at the top of the womb or at the bottom, it has nothing to do with determining the gender. The only way to determine this is to get an ultrasound – and in some countries a blood test.

Pregnancy Myths - It's a boy! Or girl?

Myth: ‘Eating for two’ while pregnant.

You should be eating to keep yourself healthy. For the most, the baby inside the womb is reliant on the mother’s condition. Expecting mothers don’t have to “double up” on intake. This notion becomes a risk to both the mother and the child as gaining too much weight can cause pregnancy complications during labor and delivery.

Myth: Morning sickness only happens in the morning.

The state of becoming nauseous or having nausea while pregnant can happen to some women – not all – and for those that do, it can occur at any time during the day.

Myth: Cream can help avoid stretch marks.

Sorry to burst your bubble but this is absolutely not true. While there are ways to try to lessen the visibility of stretch marks – some will get it and some won’t. Stretch marks can be hereditary and that’s something unavoidable. Pregnancy creams and moisturizers can help with getting your skin more elastic to help with the stretch marks to become less wide/visible – it does not ultimately avoid stretch marks.

Myth: You can’t Fly while pregnant or travel on a boat.

Your doctor will be the one to determine if you can or cannot. It ultimately boils down to your condition. But even those in their 3rd trimester can still fly – granting that they’ve got the go signal from their doctor and the airline they’re flying with permits them (as some airlines may have strict policies with pregnant women flying – some requiring medical certificates).

Myth: You can’t have sex.

Seems harsh to be sentenced to 9 months of abstinence for the very act that got you pregnant in the first place, right? Well, Gladly this is absolutely not true! The baby inside the mom is completely safe in their own bubble (in the placenta) which keeps them safe and is “impenetrable” – So no, you won’t hit the baby while having sex and the baby will be perfectly fine.

And there it is folks! Myths debunked!

When in doubt, ask your doctor, not your neighbor or google.

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Health and fitness Pregnancy

How important are prenatal checkups?

Updated: May 21, 2020

So you’ve found out that you’re pregnant – congratulations! You might be thinking now what to do next? Call and inform your friends and family? Start looking into baby wear and gadgets? First things first, get a check-up! If you want to know the benefits of breastfeeding, click here.

Visit your OB-GYNE

It is crucial that you visit an OB-GYNE doctor to see the condition of your baby and to know what you can expect throughout your pregnancy.

While everything may seem overwhelming and you’re itching to let people know, the first person that should be well-informed is your doctor.

This visit to the doctor while pregnant is what you call prenatal checkups and it should be done frequently. The frequency will vary depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy and the recommended schedule from your doctor. Normally, the earlier you are in your pregnancy the fewer visits there are to make in a month, usually just once a month, and as you get closer to your expected due date, the visit becomes more frequent to become once a week or every 2 weeks. Prenatal checkups are important to increase the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

Importance of prenatal checkups

As every expecting mother is at risk and may develop complications, constant and frequent prenatal visits can help lower these risks and prevent possible complications that may arise and ensure a healthy pregnancy. This goes for both the mom and their infant.

How important are prenatal checkups - doctor equipments

What can you expect during your prenatal check-up?

Going to a licensed and respected doctor

For your questions to be answered. Finding out you’re pregnant can either be a very happy moment or can be scary. Rather than going to Dr. Google to get answers, a licensed and respected doctor will be able to address all your concerns. So jot down a list to bring during your visit.

Knowing your condition

Determine the condition of your pregnancy. It’s vital that you make that very first visit to inform your doctor about your pregnancy – a positive home pregnancy test may not tell you everything. Your doctor will check your medical history and see if there could be possible complications or if you may have a high-risk pregnancy – and the only way to find out is to visit your doctor.

Prepare for the due date

Calculate your due date. To be fully prepared, you’ll want to know when you can expect to bring your bundle of joy into this world. Your doctor will determine this, usually through an ultrasound, based on your last menstrual cycle.

Prenatal Vitamins

Doctors will prescribe you with prenatal vitamins and suggest healthy living. Carrying a baby in you is no big feat. So taking your prenatal vitamins and other prescriptions recommended by your doctor will help reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and following a suggested healthy living lifestyle will increase the chances of a healthy baby and labor.

Rich in folic acid

In a published article by ucrhealth.org, it states that: “In addition, taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily reduces the risk for neural tube defects by 70%.2,9 Most prenatal vitamins contain the recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid as well as other vitamins that pregnant women and their developing fetus need.1,10 Folic acid has been added to foods like cereals, slices of bread, pasta, and other grain-based foods. Although a related form (called folate) is present in orange juice and leafy, green vegetables (such as kale and spinach), folate is not absorbed as well as folic acid.”

Monitor your baby

Monitoring of your baby. It’s only in the prenatal visits that you’re able to check the condition of your baby, through lab tests, ultrasound’s, etc., that you’re able to predict the chances of the outcome of your baby as complications can come at any time, these prenatal visits will help you and your baby to ensure that everything runs smooth – or if something may arise, it can be detected early on.

Conclusion

So if you’re an expecting mother, ensure to visit your doctor and make those prenatal checkups. If you haven’t started, make the first step and call your doctor to schedule a visit today.